Decisions – MSSC – 7/26/2018

Hand down list

Dexter Powell v. State of Mississippi –  aggravated assault – Powell was convicted of aggravated assault.  He had gotten into an argument at a club  with Jamarcus Barton and they went outside to settle it like men. Barton struck Powell and Powell fell to the ground and urinated on himself.  A few of Powell’s friends including Darry Buck drove him home. When Powell opened the door to get out, Buck could see he was holding a gun and the two struggled over the gun.  Barton was struck  in the upper-right side of his back. On appeal Powell argues that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for (1) failing to request a jury instruction on the law of accident, and (2) failing to object to the prosecutor’s cross-examining Powell as to why he didn’t tell his story to the police (and thereby commenting on his right to be silent). The MSSC finds that it cannot adress the ineffectiveness claims on direct appeal.  Powell also challenges the sufficiency of the evidence. The MSSC affirms.

Jason Lee Miles  v. State of Mississippigrand larceny – Miles was convicted of grand larceny. after having taken a trailer, a mower, and a 4-wheeler from the home of a man who had been placed in a nursing home.  The night he took them, he was stopped with the trailer and mower, etc. because he was driving the trailer and it did not have lights. On appeal he argues that the state failed to prove the market value of the stolen items and that the court erred in not granting a continuance. The MSSC affirms.

Memorial Hospital at Gulfport and Singing River Health System v. David J. Dzielak, Ph.D., In His Official Capacity as Executive Director of the Division of Medicaid, Office of the Governor, and the Division of Medicaid, Office of the Governor, State of Mississippi –  medicaid reimbursement to hospitals –  Some hospitals challenged Medicaid’s supplemental payments and lost. The MSSC affirms.

Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance v. Mary H. Currybad justice court judge (surprise!) –  Keeping with a longstanding tradition in Mississippi where a lot of justice court judges suck because they aren’t lawyers (not that lawyers are all that but some of them are useful when knowledge of the law is required), Claiborne County Justice Court Judge Mary Curry, a non-lawyer, did not disappoint. She signed warrants based on affidavits signed by her relatives,  dismissed petitions for protective orders in domestic cases without having the required hearing, waived mandated expungement fees, and when a clerk complained about her being crappy, asked to have the clerk removed. Curry and Judicial Performance agree on a public reprimand and the MSSC gives its blessing.

The Court grants the cert petition in  Eric Kennedy v. State  (the link is to the COA opinion).  Kennedy pleaded guilty to murder in 1998.  That same year he filed a pcr motion.  The trial court denied the motion in 2002.  In 2013 he filed a second pcr motion alleging that his codefendant had recanted his testimony at al. The court denied it in 2014. Three months later Kennedy filed a notice of appeal and claimed that the clerk had failed to send him the order denying his motion.  He asked for additional time to file his notice of appeal. The trial court denied the motion.  Kennedy appealed and the COA affirmed. The MSSC has granted Kennedy’s cert petition.



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